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Erik Kratz for the second catchers

 
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Nov - 05:59 (2017)    Post subject: Erik Kratz for the second catchers Reply with quote

STIRLING -- She has taken to the catwalk at a New York fashion show, has been lined up for a photo shoot by a British tabloid and is possibly the most famous sportswoman in Scotland. The words "curling" and "celebrity" arent usually found in the same sentence, but brilliant play on the ice is ensuring plenty of exposure off it for British womens skip Eve Muirhead. "I enjoy it, although its a bit weird," Muirhead said of her glamorous life away from the rink. "But were trying to get the sport to grow because its a sport that needs to grow. So its always good to promote curling." Already a world and European champion with Scotland, Muirhead is heading to Februarys Winter Olympics in Sochi looking to fill the gap on her curling resume. And for the second straight games, she and her British teammates will be the favourites for the gold medal. Muirhead was only 19 when she competed at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. She lost five straight games after a good start and failed to make it past the round-robin stage. "Ive looked back at it and we didnt train hard enough, didnt practice hard. We just werent good enough," Muirhead said after a practice session at the Scottish Institute of Sport training base in Stirling. "I think I learnt from that, and for this cycle Ive really stepped up everything. Its actually probably the best thing that could have happened to me." Womens curling in Britain has undergone a generational shift since Rhona Martin, a 36-year-old from a small Scottish village, led Britain to an unlikely gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. More than 6 million Britons stayed up into the early hours to watch Martins team, labeled the "housewife superstars" by the British media, become overnight sensations in a sport many previously didnt even know existed. Eleven years later, things have changed dramatically. British curling at the highest level has gone professional, a fund of 5 million pounds ($8.2 million) is dedicated to the countrys Olympians over four years, and there is as much gym work as practice on the ice. Sports psychologists -- in Britains case, a former Bolshoi ballet dancer -- and strength and conditioning coaches are part of the support staff. The curlers themselves are much younger. Muirhead and teammates Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton are all between 22 and 24, making them the youngest womens team in Sochi. "Its nice to see a young aspect to the sport, to show that you do need to be fit to be a curler," Sloan told The Associated Press in an interview. "Curling had the image of being an older sport but I think with us being young and showing we enjoy it so much, thats a healthy thing and hopefully we are going to get people to try it after the Olympics." Muirheads team is being held up as Britains best chance of gold in Sochi, more than a decade after Martin delivered what is referred to in Britain as the "Stone of Destiny" in the 2002 Olympic final against Switzerland. Muirhead was just 12 at the time, and recalls being allowed to stay up late on a school night to watch the final. No surprise given her father, Gordon, won a world championship in curling in 1999. "It was fantastic," she said. "Ever since that moment, you want to go there and do it yourself, dont you? It inspired me, for sure." That night also changed Martins life. She was shocked to see flag-waving crowds greet her at Heathrow Airport on her return to Britain. She was congratulated by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, awarded an honour by Queen Elizabeth II and invited to sit in the Royal Box at Wimbledon. Martin was stopped everywhere she went and was hounded by the tabloid newspapers. "Football (journalists) were even phoning, asking me: What do you think of the new Scotland manager? recalled Martin, who keeps her gold medal "in a cupboard, in its box, with the toilet rolls." That level of media glare is something Muirhead can expect, too, if she returns home from Russia with a gold medal. Britain doesnt have a strong tradition at the Winter Olympics, winning only nine golds since the first games in 1924. As a result, every champion is feted as a national icon. Muirhead is used to coping with pressure and attention. A youth champion in bagpiping and golf, she turned down golf scholarships from a number of American universities to take up curling, with her accomplishments on the ice tracked from the moment she won the first of her four world junior titles, in 2007. Off the ice, Muirhead was invited by actor Sean Connery to stride the catwalk at the annual Scottish-themed "Dressed to Kilt" fashion show in New York in 2010 and has a photo shoot scheduled with The Sun newspaper in Britain. She is a big name in Canada, curlings stronghold, and even bigger in Scotland, where the sport originated. Muirhead remains level-headed, though -- in her own words, a "normal down-to-earth person." And with Martin now coach of the British womens team, Muirhead couldnt have a better mentor in her corner heading into Sochi. "Obviously there is a target on their back." Martin said. "They are world champions so thats just reality. They know every single game there will be tough but . they have the potential. Its just about performing on the right day." Jeff Hornacek Jersey . Louis Blues have returned to the top spot in the TSN. Jonas Jerebko Jersey http://www.officialjazzproauthentic.com/Authentic-Alec-Burks-Jazz-Jersey/ . No, the San Antonio star didnt announce retirement plans during an off day at the NBA Finals on Wednesday. Rudy Gobert Jersey . Hoefl-Rieschs exit — from the downhill course into safety nets, then airlifted from the slope by helicopter — left Anna Fenninger of Austria favourite to win her first giant crystal trophy one month after becoming an Olympic champion. Donovan Mitchell Jersey .The Dallas Cowboys released Sam from the practice squad Tuesday, dropping the rush end as they prepare for several potential reinforcements to return to the defensive line.DUNEDIN, Florida – The following players will make up the Blue Jays 38th opening day roster: STARTING ROTATION (in order of appearance:) R.A. Dickey, Drew Hutchison, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Dustin McGowan. BULLPEN: Casey Janssen, Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, Jeremy Jeffress. CATCHERS: Dioner Navarro, Josh Thole. INFIELDERS: Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Jose Reyes, Brett Lawrie, Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis. OUTFIELDERS: Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus, Melky Cabrera, Moises Sierra. DISABLED LIST: J.A. Happ. Dustin McGowan typically isnt long-winded. Wednesday morning was no exception when he found out the news he would be starting the Blue Jays 38th home opener on April 4 against the New York Yankees. "I was kind of speechless," said McGowan. "I told them, thank you for the opportunity and Ill be ready." What this decision says about McGowan is one thing. What it says about the state of the Blue Jays starting rotation is another. First, McGowan, who turned 32 on March 24 and suddenly is the author of an unlikely story. At one time the organizations highly prized pitching prospect, McGowan cemented himself as a bona fide big leaguer when he won 12 games and posted a 4.08 ERA in 27 starts for the Blue Jays in 2007. The persistent shoulder problems began on July 8, 2008, when he was forced to leave a game against Baltimore after four innings. He wouldnt pitch again that year and his rehab took him into the 2009 season. McGowan was progressing before developing a cartilage problem in his knee, which required surgery. He missed all of 2010 with a torn rotator cuff. It wouldnt be until September 6, 2011, that McGowan would pitch in another big league game. He finished the season with the Blue Jays but returned to the disabled list out of spring training in 2012 with a foot problem. Later that summer, he was back under the knife for arthroscopic shoulder surgery. It wasnt until last season, when McGowan made 25 relief appearances, that he showed he could continue to pitch at the big league level. Late in the season, he expressed an interest in trying to be a starter one more time. It seemed unlikely at the time but, then again, the fact he pitched at all last year was proof McGowan could overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. "I always had the resolve to push through," said McGowan. "Theres no quitting in my blood. There was times I thought it may not happen anymore but it wouldnt be from lack of trying so I kept pushing hard for moments like this." "He was one of the top up-and-coming pitchers here in this organization a few years ago and we got a glimpse of it before he had his injuries," said manager John Gibbons. "Its pretty amazing in my mind that hes come back this far and looked this good. Were going to run with it and see where it takes us.dddddddddddd" Really, what option does Gibbons have? J.A. Happ, like Ricky Romero last spring, pitched his way out of the rotation with four poor Grapefruit League performances (20.57 ERA) and will begin the season on the disabled list. "He had that back issue earlier on," said Gibbons. "It hasnt been a big deal. Hes getting better but its something we think its limited him a little bit right now and its affecting him so hell go on the DL and hell get himself right and well look at it in the near future." Disabling Happ is nothing more than a paper move, which enables the Blue Jays to carry an eight-man bullpen to start the season. Each of Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond and Jeremy Jeffress is out of options. When Happ is activated, someone will have to go. The Jays are simply delaying the inevitable. Gibbons confirmed Redmond is the next starter in line should there be an injury in the rotation. Meanwhile, Josh Thole beat out Erik Kratz for the second catchers job behind Dioner Navarro. "Hes got something special with Dickey," said Gibbons. "Hes caught him the last few years. Theres a little bit of something theyve got working so were going to run with that." Thole has caught Dickey for a total of 565 innings during their time together with the Mets and Blue Jays. While its expected the second catcher is going to have to play more this year, Navarro hasnt played in more than 89 games in any of the last four seasons, the ability to handle Dickeys knuckleball is being prioritized ahead of offence. "I think hes a better hitter than he showed last year," said Gibbons, referring to Tholes .175/.242/.216 slash line. "Hes made some adjustments but his number one job is to catch Dickey. Thats what hes here for. Well take whatever offence we can get." Kratz has an option remaining and will begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo. "He was disappointed," said Gibbons of Kratzs reaction to his demotion. "I mean, you expect him to be. It was a long time coming to get to the big leagues. Hed been up there a little bit with Pittsburgh and of course, Philly, and yeah, he was very disappointed and I dont blame him but the way were going to start this thing out, let Thole run with it. Our number one job, the big question mark is how good our starting pitching is going to be, weve got to take care of those guys." It appears it will be a short stay with the Blue Jays for utility infielder/outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo, who was informed on Wednesday he wouldnt make the opening day roster. He was seen leaving Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in street clothes. No formal roster move has been made. Tuiasosopo is out of options, meaning he will have to clear through waivers before being sent to the minor leagues. If he isnt picked up by another club, he would likely start in Buffalo. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' ' 

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